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Around the minors 9.16.11

GREENSBORO 12, SAVANNAH 10 (11 innings): The Gnats were one strike away from claiming a South Atlantic League championship. Instead, the Grasshoppers forced a winner-take-all Game 5 in the title series Saturday. Reliever Brandon Sage had Greensboro shortstop Noah Perio down in the count, 1-2, with two out and the tying run at third in the ninth. Perio then slapped a single past diving shortstop Wilfredo Tovar to drive in Ryan Fisher and even the score at 9. In the 11th, Greensboro catcher Jacob Realmuto led off with a triple off the base of the center-field wall off Savannah reliever Ronny Morla. Realmuto scored on a single from Ryan Fisher, and the ’Hoppers tacked on two more runs in the inning. Savannah got a run back in the bottom half on an RBI double from Tovar and brought the tying run to the plate, but consecutive groundouts ended the game. The two teams played 11 innings for the second night in a row. The Gnats won 4-3 Thursday to take a 2-1 series lead. In both Savannah losses, the Gnats held a ninth-inning lead. Down 5-0 after two innings and 7-2 entering the bottom of the fourth, the Gnats rallied for seven runs that frame to take their first lead. With the bases loaded, Aderlin Rodriguez lined a single into left field to bring home two and pull the Gnats within 7-4. After Luis Nieves reached on a bunt single, Alonzo Harris singled to right to bring home a run. With the bases reloaded, Darrell Ceciliani ripped a three-run triple up the right-center gap to put the Gnats in front for the first time at 8-7. Ceciliani scored on a wild pitch to up the Gnats’ lead to two runs. Greensboro got a run back in the fifth against reliever Michael Hebert. The Grasshoppers had jumped to a 5-0 lead after two innings, with a run in the first and four in the second, keyed by a three-run homer by Marcel Ozuna. Savannah starter Erik Goeddel gave up seven runs on six hits in four innings. Looking for their first SAL title in 15 years, the Gnats will hand the ball to left-hander Angel Cuan (10-3, 3.56/0-0, 2.61 playoffs) on Saturday night against right-hander Kyle Winters (8-3, 4.10/0-0, 6.23). The radio broadcast on sandgnats.com will begin at 6 p.m. Box

Compiled from team report